Fresh Start Same God

“just like when we began 2020, not knowing the twist and turn of events, we do not know what 2021 has in store.”

Happy new year, friends. We all have been waiting for 2021 with great expectations and hopes that this year will be better than 2020. But just like when we began 2020, not knowing the twist and turn of events, we do not know what 2021 has in store. It might turn out to be the best year with breakthroughs, restorations, and perhaps the year we finally see all our dreams come true.  Or it could remain the same, zoom classes, meetings, quarantines, and possibly canceled events (I sure miss some great worship gatherings). One lesson I have learned, though, is that I am not in control. We do not know how tomorrow will go, and that brings a lot of uncertainty.  

In moments of uncertainty, the biggest question is always: Is God with me? Does He even see what’s happening to me/us? 

In my life, such moments include when I had desperately needed God to come through when I faced tough life decisions or when something tragic happened, sometimes when I felt unable to perform a specific task or when I have failed so much, and I hit rock bottom. In these times, we are overwhelmed, stuck, and the emotions of life take the best of us; we fall into the trap of trying so hard to measure up, working hard to ignore the pain, anxiety takes over, fear follows, and we get stuck. We hit rock bottom, and there is nowhere and no one else to turn to.

While the reality we face may not change in our favor as we would like, I have learned that God is still present and with us in each moment, giving us peace and strengthening us for our journey. We can cry or shout out to Him, seeking Him in prayer to Go with us.

As we begin the new year, I cannot help but think about Moses in Exodus 33:12-17, where he airs his concerns to God, and God responds. Moses was the mediator, interceding for Israel’s sin- think of a defense lawyer for the Israelites before God. In Exodus 32:11-13, Moses prayed that God would not destroy the Israelites for the sake of his covenant glory that he would preserve them. In Exodus 32:31-32, he prayed that God would forgive Israel’s sin.

In my text today, Exodus 33:12-13, he prayed that God would go with him to guide him. Then in Exodus 33:15-16, he prayed that God would be with the Israelites to be their God. Moses had learned the prayer life that would unlock the peace He needed for uncertain times!

Moses even doubts His abilities in Exodus 3:11 when God tells Him that he will use Him to free the Israelites from slavery, and God reminds Him that he will be with Him. I think of other people in the Bible who prayed that God would guide them as they embarked on tough times and situations they faced. I’m reminded of Daniel, whom his colleague sought to see his downfall (Daniel 6: 10-11). When Daniel learned about the decree that had been passed to get him, he went on his knees and prayed, and in due time, God saved Him. He was with Him and watched over Him. There are so many stories in the bible and our lives that testify God’s presence and guidance.

Now more than ever, we have to seek God’s presence to Go with us, and we have to rest on His promise that He will be with us. Just like Moses, when we consider how far we have come in life, we can genuinely recognize that God has been with us without any shadow of a doubt. He has seen us through the most challenging waters and the raging storms of life. Maybe you are there, and you do not believe that you are qualified enough to step into the calling God has for you. Remember that God made you a masterpiece, and you are His son and daughter with whom He delights. Despite 2020 being rough and full of uncertainty, we can approach His throne with confidence, knowing that he can give us strength for the journey. Brethren, as we begin this new year, God has promised never to leave us or forsake us. Therefore, I invite you to pray this prayer with me, inviting Him and His presence to go with us, because if He does not go with us, we would be shaken when uncertainty strikes. 

“Lord Jesus, we know you said that you would stay with me; so, as we enter this new year, we pray that you will go with us by the power of your Spirit.” 

May you experience a peace that surpasses understanding this year. May God be the center of your life, and may He lead you. Just like the psalmist In Psalm 25:4, He cried out to God to Guide Him and put His hope in Him. Remember, He is our shepherd and leads us to green pastures, and even though we walk through the valley of uncertainty and death, He promises that He will be there to lighten our load./.

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